'Our state is not a prison camp!' North Dakota GOP passes bill making mask mandates illegal
An anti-mask protester. (Shutterstock.com)

Mask-hating North Dakota Republicans this week passed a bill that would make mask mandates in their state illegal.

Local news station KFYR-TV reports that North Dakota House of Representatives moved to ban implementing mask mandates, no matter how severe future pandemics might be.

"Our state is not a prison camp!" Republican North Dakota State Rep. Jeff Hoverson fumed arguing in support of the legislation.

According to the Bismarck Tribune, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum implemented a mask mandate last November in an effort to contain surging COVID-19 hospitalizations in his state.

The governor has since dropped the mask mandate now that hospitalizations have fallen significantly from their peak, but that apparently isn't good enough for Republican hardliners in the state who want to make sure the governor never does anything to protect public health again.

The bill, which passed by a slim margin of 50 to 44, now heads to the North Dakota State Senate.